Saturday, November 30, 2013

Jukebox Saturday Night Entry: Nov. 30th, 2013 "Back (Fevered and Lost) in D.C. Space" Edition

Updated 11:55AM 12/1/2013: See below.

Time to post this one. It's Saturday night relevant and by the Bee Gees - and therefore one of the greatest 1970s song ...

"Night Fever"* by the Bee Gees from the group's incredibly popular album Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track (1977)

*I know it says "Saturday Night Fever" in the YouTube clip title but that was the name of the main album and the movie; the song itself was "Night Fever."

I'll spare everyone the actual Saturday Night Fever movie clip with John Travolta in that absurd leisure suit, coiffed hair, and silly pose on the dance floor (though you can see it as the still-screen image in the above clip).


(Lost?) Back In D.C. Space ...

This is my promised jukebox Saturday night entry. I'm back in D.C. and home in my apartment on this cold Saturday night (although the radiator has it sufficiently warm in here). I went to the gym and had a good three-part workout -- jogging, weight-lifting, and swimming -- and then went grocery shopping at the small Best Supermarket next door rather than the Safeway or Harris Teeter. My trip was a good one (see previous entry).

This is a better version picture of me with the giant stuffed teddy bear in my mom and Ray's place in Millersville, Md. Ray took this one on Thursday (Thanksgiving) morning as my mom took the one with my cellphone that I posted in this entry.


I also had a decent phone conversation with my dad. (He is moving into a trailer WITH Shannon near the beach on a remote stretch of the Florida Atlantic coastline in unincorporated Flagler County north of Flagler Beach. Guess I won't be going there.)

I'm home now watching the Me TV Sci Fi Saturday Night line-up. Right now it is Lost In Space -- the suitably bizarre episode Ghost Planet ("the Kingdom of Cybernetics!") episode. Above is a screen shot from the episode featuring the central cybernetic brain.

A picture of "The Green Lady" of "The People of the Green Mist" in the Lost In Space episode "Wild Adventure" that was on Me TV last week and that I discussed in this entry. The actress Vitina Marcus played her (she is still alive and 76 years old and has a website, although I did not go to it). Check out why she showed up on the local news in Las Vegas (where she lives) this past June.


Now to celebrate the start of the Christmas season ...

"Christmas Canon" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra from its album The Christmas Attic (1998), second of its Christmas Trilogy series.

The piece is, of course, a variation of Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major with lyrics added. This particular video (year uncertain but probably mid-2000s) features a children's choir accompaniment, though I'm unsure if they are part of the "TSO" or just for particular shows.


And let's end with something a little more upbeat ...

"Come on Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners (now called Dexys) from the group's Too-Rye-Ay album (1982)


OK, that's all for now. As for tonight, I intend to go to Old Ebbitt Grill and then to No. 9 and/or Nellie's. My next entry may / might not be until Wednesday or Thursday night. I have some additional photos from my Thanksgiving holiday visit to see my mom that I'd like to post.

Updated 11:55AM 12/1/2013:
So I unexpectedly had dinner with Chris H. last night at Trio before going to Larry's Lounge where I met LP, and thereafter we went to Nellie's. All in all, a very nice night, although I spent a large amount of money (after several days of rather low expenditures). As for today, it's all work editing the Smart Grid report, though right now I think I'll sleep a couple more hours. Again, my next blog entry likely will not be until Wednesday or Thursday night.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Arrival by Anne Arundel County Water Tower Spaceship -OR- 11,689 Days of Giving Thanks

A large sky-blue water tower located off East West Blvd. at Maxwell Frye Road in Millersville, Md., 1:47PM Nov. 28, 2013. I've posted a picture before of this particular water tower during Christmas 2011 on a previous visit to see my mom and Ray.

**The pictures in this entry were taken mostly yesterday (Thursday / Thanksgiving) and today (Friday) in northern Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The ones yestrday were taken while riding between Millersville, Pasadena, Severna Park, and Glen Burnie and today on the ride to and while inside Arundel Mills Mall, which is technically located in a Hanover, another Census-designated non-place. The pictures mostly DO NOT go with the text.**


There are few more distinctive things about northern Anne Arundel County, Maryland (for me) then the plethora of water towers that dot the gentle, rolling, beguilingly tree-cloaked but actually sprawl covered landscape of the southern and southwestern suburbs of Baltimore.

The water towers tend to be those giant ellipsoidal shaped ones raised on a large central "serated" trunk (I'll avoid the word "shaft") and supported by multiple legs along the periphery that give them the appearance of spaceships. Furthermore, many of them are painted so as to be the same color as the blue of the sky on the fairest of spring days when the sky is a particularly gentle (cerulean? azure? powder?) blue.

The water tower off Crain Highway on the south side of Glen Burnie, Md., 3:32PM Nov. 29, 2013. It used to be painted a checkered red and white pattern.

This is located very close to the house at 603 Old Stage Road (pictured farther below) where my mom and Ray once lived in Glen Burnie (and where I stayed for short periods, usually in the summer, although by that time (1993 - 1997), I had already moved to College Park (see entry below for explanation).


Google aerial image of the one along Crain Highway back when it was painted checked red and white. Indeed, if you go to the Anne Arundel Co. Fire Department's Company 26 South Glen Burnie Fire Station website, you can still see it in the background still red and white.

However, there are some water towers in northern Anne Arundel County that even today are still checkered red and white . There is one in Ferndale and another even fatter and larger one located in Hanover just off Teague Road near the massive Arundel Mills Mall. In addition, there is at least one (in Linthicum) that is shaped more like a beer can (and is still checkered red and white ).

This is the view from the top parking garage at the Arundel Mills Mall, Hanover, Md., 4:03PM Nov. 29, 2013 with aforementioned water tower off Teague Road in the distance. I think it's next to a hotel. This area is far more developed than it was back in the mid-to-late 1980s.


Google aerial view of the same water tower off Teague Road (as seen on a summer day). It looks like it's ready to launch into orbit. I suspect the next paint job on it will be SKY BLUE.


Non-Anne Arundel County Water Tower / Thanksgiving Visit Ruminations

The remainder of this entry is a brief overview of my Thanksgiving visit to see my mom and features mostly (but not entirely) features pictures that I took on Thursday and Friday (today).

Thanksgiving was a pleasant, quiet, and relaxing one with my mom and Ray (stepfather). We went to the Thanksgiving dinner at the American Legion in Severna Park (post #175 -- not to be confused with post #276 in Severn where we went last Thanksgiving). We didn't actually stay that long and were back home by about 430PM.

Riding along Ritchie Highway in Pasadena, Md., 1:52PM Nov. 28, 2013.


As for today (Friday), the three of us went to Medieval Times at Arundel Mills Mall. On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The show was quite a spectacle, but I'm not going to discuss it here since it would introduce an entirely new topic for this entry. I took pictures that I will try to post in an subsequent entry. I will say that the mall itself -- at once time the largest in Maryland, but now apparently the second largest after the Annapolis Mall was expaned -- is just overwhelming and the mobs of people (literally tens of thousands of people had to have gone there today).

Java Diva coffee truck, Severna Park, Md., 2:03PM Nov. 28, 2013.


Last night, while working on this computer, I used the severely old, severely slow, and probably severely infected computer -- which today was "decommissioned" by my mom -- as a "television" to tune into full-screen The Golden Girls on YouTube, specifically, all the episodes that I like. (That computer is severely old, severely slow, and probably severely infected with God-knows-what (Norton anti-viral this-or-that notwithstanding) and on Friday was "decommissioned" by my mom.)

Screenshot of "The Golden Girls" -- "Bringing Up Baby" episode.


As an aside, full versions of The Golden Girls have been periodically avialable on YouTube only to vanish in a copyright enfringement cloud (the kind of thing that excites Wall-P, a.k.a., Pitty Shil). Presently full episodes are available via the user "goldengirlpalace".

Screenshot of "The Golden Girls" - "A Piece of Cake" episode. I really like the look of Rose's kitchen back in her house in (the fictitious town of) St. Olaf, Minnesota. I also love the scene for many reasons.


All it all, it is very cozy and pleasant here, especially late at night.Needless to say, it is a far, far better experience than visiting -- or attempting to visit -- my screaming crazy father in Flagler Beach, Florida, who after all that insanity doesn't even particularly like me that much anymore (and certainly doesn't give a flying flip about what goes on in my life).

Outside the American Legion Post 175, Severna Park, Md., 2:06PM Nov. 28, 2013.


The only problem for me in being here is EXERCISE -- as in the COMPLETE AND TOTAL LACK THERE OF and instead just either remaining motionless while in front of the computer or walking the short distance to the little kitchen to eat or drink something.

As for my mom and Ray, they watch a lot of television, although Ray watches far more -- typically movies, football games, home shopping channels, occasional religious shows or (as he did late tonight), Netflix documentaries, etc. (the one tonight on how three missiles really brought down TWA Flight 800).

My mom tends to watch much gentler things -- cooking, home and gardening and real estate / home improvement (HGTV stuff), more genteel and happy-ending movies, interesting nature documentaries, and the like. Indeed, as I type this on Friday night at 1049PM, I'm in the little living room watching TV with her (something on HGTV) as Ray went to sleep, though his oxygen machine is purring loudly.

My mom and Ray entering the American Legion Post 175, Severna Park, Md., 2:06PM Nov. 28, 2013.


My point is that if I stayed here for any amount of time, I would zoom back up the 45 pounds to 188 pounds -- and probably higher. However, tomorrow I should be back in D.C. by Saturday afternoon, whereupon it is my intention to go straightaway to the Anthony Bowen YMCA.

Thanksgiving, American Legion Post 175, Severna Park, Md., 2:55PM Nov. 28, 2013.


While I am returning tomorrow to D.C. and it is the weekend, unfortunately, it looks as though I'm going to have to spend a significant amount of time in front of the computer on Sunday working on an editing assignment for work involving the Smart Grid report. (I knew this weekend work was coming so it's not a surprise.)

I also have to finish the edits on the permitting and regulatory consultation section on the Hawaii project by the middle of next week. As a result, I will likely not be blogging between Sunday and possibly until Wednesday. As a result, other than a planned jukebox Saturday night entry, I likely will not be able to post any blog entries until Wednesday or Thursday night. However, do I plan to go to the gym on Monday and Wednesday as well.

Tent and American flag (actually, two -- there is a small one as well), American Legion Post 175, Severna Park, Md., 3:36PM Nov. 28, 2013.


11,689 Days of Thanks and Counting

OK, the remainder of this entry contains an extended / more detailed version what I wrote in my previous entry that today, November 29th, 2013, is the 32nd anniversary of our arrival in Maryland. If you include Nov. 29th on both ends -- 1981 and 2013 -- it is 11,689 days ago.

Another sky-blue ellipsoidal water tower with central trunk and peripheral support columns located at the corner of Oakwood and Elvaton Roads in Millersville, Md., 4:28PM Nov. 28, 2013. (I've told Chris H. before -- I just don't see him having ever lived in this area, but apparently he did back in the mid to late 1990s.)


By "our arrival" I refer to my mom, Ray, and myself and our arrival in Baltimore on November 29, 1981 after a three-day drive from Killeen, Texas. We were living there because Ray had been stationed at Fort Hood for a little under two years. It followed a nearly 4 year stint from Jan. 1976 to Dec. 1979 at SHAPE, Belgium, although I personally only was there less than six months of that time (on three different occasions) and instead lived for the most part with my dad and paternal grandparents in Long Branch, N.J. To be clear, I was 6 to 10 years old during that time.

Benfield Village Shopping Center and with STILL ANOTHER sky-blue ellipsodal water tower / space ship adjacent to it, Severna Park, Md., 3:59PM Nov. 28, 2013.

(I think part of the reason for the plethora of these water towers is the lack of a central major river water supply in the Baltimore area -- such as the Potomac in the D.C. area -- and instead the network of small-to-medium-sized reservoirs. But that's just a hunch on my part.)


By 1981, I was living with my mom and Ray (except during the summer) and we departed Killeen on Nov. 26, 1981, the day of my 12th birthday. As planned, we stopped in Dallas and stayed overnight, visiting the well-known WFAA Channel 8 TV weatherman Troy Dungan at the news station and having dinner nextdz door at what was then the revolving Antares restaurant atop Reunion Tower (it's now called Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck and is part of the Dallas Hyatt Regency).

Driving along Oakwood Road, Glen Burnie, Md., 4:20PM Nov. 28, 2013. Sometimes in my dreams I am back in this area -- along with coastal New Jersey, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Seattle, Washington in various combinations in space and time (including what I imagine to be the "far future").


Anyway, we drove back to Maryland -- stopping overnight at motels in Jackson, Tenn., and Roanoke, Va. -- by Nov. 29, 1981 (on the day of the drowning death of actress Natalie Wood). Oddly enough, I remember the movie I watched the night in the motel in Jackson, Tenn. -- Dream House starring the then-21 year old actor John Schneider, one half of The Dukes of Hazzard famous duo.

A cluster of pine trees at the corner of Aquahart Rd. and Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, Md., 4:21PM Nov. 28, 2013.

I very nearly made this the lead image. Why? Because these pine trees are much older than they look. They -- or rather a more tangled grove of them-- were just like this back in the early 1980s when I arrived in Glen Burnie. There used to be a movie theatre sign and the large plastic letters used to fall off it -- and I had a collection of them at one point in the Colonial Village Square apartment where I first lived. (I remember it said "E.T" for the longest time.) This is back when the Harundale Mall used to be there.


Upon our arrival in Maryland back in Nov. 1981, we initially stayed in Baltimore at Ray's parents' house in a truly disastrous situation for a few months. If you want to know what it was like, refer to this gargantuan entry "A Postmodern Quest: In Search of Baltimore's Corner and Inflection Points, Past and Present", specifically, the "Dinner and (Side) Show in Baltimore: Prole-feed off Potee Street" section.

A nice picture of Baltimore's skyline and some of its rowhouses on a nice early fall day.

But actually, here is where we went ...

24 Bristol Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland.

The house looked rather different back in the late 1970s and early 1980s with an open-screen porch and different siding. It was better looking back then -- though not by much.


I went to live with my dad and grandparents in New Jersey in Jan. or maybe Feb. 1982 (I can't recall the month but I know it was winter / early 1982). My mom sent me there becuase things were so bad. By that point, my dad was living at his house in the woods in Upper Freehold Townnship near a place called Cream Ridge while my grandparents were in their Ocean Pointe Towers in Long Branch.
Though that was a bad time, things were better in the spring and summer of 1982 -- spent in Long Branch and at Tradewinds Beach Club in Sea Bright. In the meantime, my mom and Ray moved to Glen Burnie in March or April 1982. I didn't actually move to Glen Burnie, Md., until Aug. 1982 when it was time to start school (7th grade).

Aerial view of the old Tradewinds Beach Club in Sea Bright, N.J., on a postcard that my grandma sent me back in the mid-1980s. I've written a lot about Tradewinds Beach Club on this blog. .


Fun fact: My 6th grade year started in Aug. 1981 at Peebles Elementary School in Killeen, Texas; it ran through P.S. 203 in Baltimore City for a few months; and ended at Upper Freehold Regional Elementary in Allentown, N.J., in late June 1982. Thus, that school year lasted approximately 300 days. That was one hell of a school year.

The unhappy house at 268 Oakwood Village Court, Glen Burnie, Md., 4:17PM Nov. 28, 2013 (it's the end unit). As explained below in this entry, I lived here with my mom and Ray in the period 1986 - 1988 -- including when I graduated high school -- and again intermittently from 1989 - 1991 and eventually moved out to go to school and then settle in College Park. They lived there for a few more years until about 1993. It was the worst time of our lives -- this was a nightmare place for many reasons financial and familial.


I stayed with them for about six years uninterrupted (except for summer visits to New Jersey) until I graduated high school in June 1988. We moved from an initial place at Colonial Village Square apartment complex, then into the Harundale section of Glen Burnie on Little Road, then 268 Oakwood Village Court (a truly disastrous time), and then finally onto Old Stage Road (by which point I had moved away).

A blurry image of the house at 603 Old Stage Road, Glen Burnie, Md., 3:334PM Nov. 29, 2013.


I moved out of 268 Oakwood Village Court to go to the Univ. of Washington in Seattle, which I did in Sept. 1988, except that didn't really work out, and I returned in Dec. 1988 to live again in Glen Burnie (still at Oakwood Village Court). I then went to St. Mary's College in southern Maryland -- a place I detested -- and during that time, I was in what turned out to be a wasted semester exchange program at this little place called the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies that is "affiliated" with Keeble College, Oxford University. The program itself was fine (we read interesting things on Arthurian literature -- The Mabinogion anyone? Sir Arthur and the Green Knight? -- than I ever would have otherwise learned and we took bus tours to all kinds of castles within 100 miles of Oxford).

The only issues I will relate regarding the CMRS "Oxford" experience is that while the place is centrally located in the ancient city of Oxford, it really isn't "Oxford University" (keep that in mind, although there are those other less reputable programs for dumb American teenagers and their clueless parents) and the credits never transferred beyond St. Mary's College, so it's as though the semester never happened. This was January - April 1991 and including the height of the Gulf War.

Crowded food court at Arundel Mills Mall, 4:10PM Nov. 29, 2013.

Sometimes I get the feeling that we are approaching a Blade Runner sort of future -- super-oversaturated commercialized on everything, mind numbing, blandly police state fascistic, lacking any refinement or "culture," with absolutely nothing real, authentic, or socially cohesive. But I don't want to be negative.


My St. Mary's College situation collapsed into a visit to a psychiatric hospital during the summer of 1992 when I was actually on summer break and living in Rockville, Md. I was made to leave there by this horrible dean of students of a woman who ended up being kicked out herself -- and not just there but other places as well. (This topic could at some point be worth a separate entry as a cautionary tale for any idiot liberal arts college looking to increase its senior administration "diversity" by hiring this woman. At this time, I won't go into additional details.)

By September 1992, I had a lightning fast transfer to the then-Univ. of Maryland at College Park (the "at" has since been dropped, replaced by a comma). That was the start of that 16 year, nearly $200,000, mostly-a-scam part of my life. But higher education in general in America is a sky-trillion dollar scam. But, again, I don't want to be too negative. Besides, at the time in 1992, UMCP was just what I needed.

Compressing this story to the present, I didn't move into D.C. proper until Feb. 2001 (and have been there continuously with a 9-month interlude in Silver Spring in 2004 / early 2005). The last time I actually lived in this area was in the summer of 1995. Ray and my mom remained in Glen Burnie (in various places following 603 Old Stage Road) until about 2003, whereupon when they moved to this place in Millersville. I occasionally visit.

Nightview from the top of the parking garage overlooking the massive Arundel Mills Mall, Hanover, Md., 7:09PM Nov. 29, 2013. Oh, yes, from the top of the garage looking to the NE, you can see the Baltimore skyline. This view is looking south. .


And there you have my life journey so far.


Again, while I intend to post a quick jukebox Saturday night entry, thereafter I will not be posting anything until either Wednesday or Thursday.



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 in a Census Designated Non-Place in Anny Runnell Kenny, Merlin

**Owing to formatting issues and lack of a mouse, as well as amount of time, this entry contains only a handful of pictures.**

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris's hopelessly historically inaccurate painting The First Thanksgiving circa 1913.


Thanksgiving morning somewhere in Anne Arundel County, Marlyand (or in the local dialect, "Anny Runnell Kenny, Merlin") -- specifically, the Census Designated Non-Place of Millersville not far from BWI Airport and Glen Burnie. (Actually, only Annapolis and the fly-speck place of Highland Beach are incorporated cities in Anne Arundel County. The rest are either CDPs or just, like Millersville, just nebulous areas with no particular designation.) I'm at my mom and Ray's place in the over-55's (waist size) trailer park in the back room (or rather, the front room, based on the lay out).

I am using one of their computers to compose this entry. Of note, they have far more computer technology and related awareness -- two lap tops, Kindle and Kindle Fire HD tablets, Samsung Galaxies, WiFi, satellite cable for the large plasma screen TV, digital cameras, and other stuff -- than I do.

Actually, the place is kind of cozy in its way, albeit extremely small and there is only one bathroom (on the other side outside their bedroom). And it is much too isolated for my city sensibilities / lifestyle / paradigm. Above above is a picture of the kitchen and laundry area. But they really seem to like it -- have been here now for a decade, longer than any other place in or near Glen Burnie since we moved here 22 32 years ago tomorrow (Nov. 29, 1981) just days after my 12th birthday. (To clarify, we moved to Maryland on that day from Texas. We stayed in Baltimore at Ray's parents' house in a disastrous situation for a few months. I went to live with my dad and grandparents in New Jersey in Jan. 1982 while my mom and Ray moved to Glen Burnie in March or April 1982. I didn't actually move to Glen Burnie, Md., until Aug. 1982. I moved to College Park to UMCP in Sept. 1992 (detouring in the intervening years to New Jersey, Seattle, Wash., St. Mary's County, Md., Rockville, Md., and back to New Jersey). I didn't move into D.C. proper until Feb. 2001 (and have been there continuously with a 9-month interlude in Silver Spring in 2004 / early 2005). The last time I actually lived in this area was in the summer of 1995. Ray and my mom remained in Glen Burnie (in various places) until about 2003, when they moved to this place in Millersville. I occasionally visit.

I'm only about 30 miles "as the crow flies" from where I live in D.C., but it might as well be a different world.

They are in the other room watching the Macy's Thankgiving parade. The TV is seldom not on. At least Ray doesn't have Fox News on right now. There was one mention of Obamacare but I didn't reply. Oh, and my mom showed me her new Medicare card. Ray seems to be doing better -- he has had no end of health problems, at least one of which is directly attributable to his time as a young man in the Vietnam conflict so many decades ago.

It was a somewhat chaotic getting here last night through a frenetically mobbed Union Station as the MARC Camden Line train I wanted was once again cancelled before a holiday, and it appeared that MARC Penn Lines were being cancelled. I took the one getting ready to leave and went straight to BWI Thurgood Marshall Rail Station stop, which is actually rather close to here (I was going to ride up to Baltimore / Camden Yards and take the MTA Light Rail and meet them at 730PM, but the way I did it, I was almost 90 minutes early.)

After I arrived, we went to the Honey Bee diner in Glen Burnie and had some dinner. Above is a picture from the inside of the Honey Bee (that's Ray in the image).

That rail station was once barely more than a clearing in the woods back in the mid-1980s. Now it is an ever-more sprawling transportation complex. It was quite crowded last night with MARC, regular Amtrak, and Acela trains -- one of which exploded by on the central track at well over 100MPH, probably more like 120MPH.

It was a blustery, cold night with scattered snow flurries following the heavy rainfall from the nor'easter. The numbers I posted yesterday for the NWS regional climate stations including KDCA, KBWI, and KIAD were more or less correct and common, though there may have been a few hundredths of an inch more of precip. I may go back and update the numbers in my previous entry. Those numbers were also quite common from weather observers regionwide. Snowfall totals were just "trace" with a few higher amounts far to the west in the Blue Ridge, Potomac Highlands, and along the Allegheny Front. The highest snowfall number on the LWX page I found was 3.5" at Bayard, W.Va., but even that was an outlier for its area.

I slept on the thickly carpeted floor in the back (front) room last night (see above image) with a box fan on low-medium and managed to get a turbulent dream-filled seven hours of sleep that included dreams of horses, a dalmatian dog biting me on the back of the neck, vibrant outdoor greenery, screaming in a bathroom mirror as turquoise blue water overflowed a sink, and flying around a place that might have been L'Enfant Plaza, except it was in a tropical island kind of place. Oh, and something about a Nellie's bartender that I won't go into right now.

Today is a sunny, rather cold day for late November with air temps right now in the 32F to 34F range.

I brought that absurdly out-of-date will and last testament that my father bizarrely sent me with the wholly out-of-context (indeed, almost random) package that I discussed in this entry. I did so in order that she could look at it (she works at a law firm in Severna Park and deals with wills all the time).

OK, so I don't have a lot of time to write as we are supposed to go to a Thanksgiving dinner at an American Legion hall on Kent Island, and it is rather early (1230PM). Furthermore, it will take me forever to get ready in that small bathroom with the awkward shower. At this point, I'm probably going to skip showering and shaving. It will just take too long.

Updated (before posting): I got them to push back the time we are leaving until 130PM. If the Kent Island thing doesn't work out, we'll go elsewhere.

Updated 140PM: OK, so because we wouldn't make the Kent Island plan by 12:03PM, it was nixed and we are going to try to go to the Severna Park American Legion hall for a comparable event but at $7 per person. At this rate, we may end up back at the Honey Bee.

Yours truly with a giant stuffed teddy bear that Ray got my mom last year.

Finally, I am going to have to work on one of my two work assignments for a few hours tomorrow from here. As I mentioned, I return back to D.C. on Saturday but my weekend -- esp. Sunday -- is going to be busy with another work assignment from home.

Oh, yes, so today is Thanksgiving AND the first day of Hanukkah -- a fact that happened once in the late 19th Century but supposedly will not happen again for 78,000 years (when the human race will likely still exist in some form but not any of our present-day religions). Now how in the world is that possible? I just don't believe that.

And that really is all for now.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On the Coming and Going of a Late November Nor'easter and 44th Birthday; Daisy Bell and a Bicycle Built for Two (or Just a Penny-Farthing)

Updated 9:40PM 11/28/2013 for final storm precip. totals.

My familiar 5th floor Hampton Courts apartment view looking down New Hampshire Avenue and past the intersection of 16th and U Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 11:40AM Nov. 27, 2013. It was cold and sleeting out when I took this picture.


I started a version of this entry last night but just never completed it.

It is sleeting this late morning / early afternoon here in D.C. and likely the precipitation moving back in will outright will turn to snow for a period of time. There even might be some minor accumulations, although more to the west and north to the extent the precipitation shield from what looks to be the secondary coastal low and possibly an upper level one behind it. Here in D.C., it will just be conversational snow.

Here is the 15Z 11/27/2013 (10AM EST 11/27/2013) NWS high resolution surface weather map from centered on the East Coast and portions of the Appalachians. It shows the first low from last night now centered just north of Hartford, Conn., and a secondary coastal low near the NC Outer Banks.

It also does not show any upper level features such as 500mb voriticity maxima since it is strictly a surface map.

The northern and southern jet branches are becoming fully phased, so the surface lows should, I think, do the same thing by the time they have pulled away from the mid-Atlantic region and reach New England / the Canadian Maritime provinces.

Here was the same high-res surface map 12 hours earlier (10PM EST 11/26/2013) for the same area. It shows the coastal front set up right over the Metro D.C. / Baltimore areas.The warm front was indicative of the "thermal ribbon" across the immediate Metro D.C. and Baltimore regions.

I also captured the 11PM 11/26/2013 and Midnight 11/27/2013 regional observations table from the Sterling LWX page to show this temperature contrast across the region during the height of the storm.

The 11PM observations showed the 18F to 20F temperature range from the 54F at Annapolis, Md., (KNAK) and 36F at Dulles Int'l Airport, Va., (KIAD), and 34F at Winchester, Va., (KOKV) with heavy rainfall as the first low was pulling past NNE.


The midnight 11/27/2013 observations now had a 24F difference between Annapolis, Md., and Winchester, Va., (58F and 34F, respectively) while Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA) had dropped 8F in the intervening hour to 40F. However, KDCA remained around 40F for the next 12 hours.


Finally, here are the current observations at the 12/27/2013 noon hour. The "thermal ribbon" is gone.


Final two-day storm precipitation totals for select regional NWS climate stations (updated 9:40PM 11/28/2013):

KDCA: 2.20"

KIAD: 2.22"

KBWI: 2.27"

KDHM: 2.22"

KCHO: 2.38"

Finally, below are a series of Sterling (LWX) radar images ...

Sterling (LWX) radar in standard base mode reflectivity 11:46PM EST Nov. 26, 2013.


Sterling (LWX) radar in standard base mode reflectivity 12:59AM EST Nov. 27, 2013.


Sterling (LWX) radar in standard base mode reflectivity 12:22PM EST Nov. 27, 2013. Whatever frozen precip. there is here should be minor.

OK, that's enough weather.


44th Birthday Doings ...

Last night was a good night. I left work early and went home, and then quickly went back out to D-I-K bar where Chris H. was bartending. Gary showed up not quite an hour later around 640PM. Then LP drove up by 715PM and the three of us went back to Sur La Place in Palisades -- where I got gone in September with LP and Kristof. We had a really nice dinner with wine.

We rode back in a deluge between about 10 and 1030PM.

Rainy night time car ride through Washington, D.C., at 23rd and P Streets NW, 10:28PM Nov. 26, 2013.


Rainy night time car ride through Washington, D.C., at 20th and R Streets NW, 10:31PM Nov. 26, 2013.


I'm home right now -- I'm working from home for part of today -- before heading to my mom and Ray's place in Millersville, Md., later today.

I'm planning to take the MARC Camden Line from Union Station to Baltimore / Camden Yards and then the MTA Light Rail to Cromwell Plaza, and then I think we are going to the Honey Bee restaurant as part of our real Anny Runnell Kenny, Merlin-style Thanksgiving that includes going to an American Legion Hall (possibly on Kent Island on the other side of the bay) for Thanksgiving dinner and Medieval Times at Arundel Mills Mall on Friday.

By the way, I've never been to Arundel Mills Mall, a fact upon which (to paraphrase the TV sitcom character Murphy Brown and the State of Florida) I've always prided myself.

I should return on Saturday afternoon (and will go straight to the gym).

However, it also turns out that I have two major work editing assignments to do -- one due Monday COB on Smart Grid stuff and another on permitting and regulatory issues for a mammoth Hawaii clean energy undertaking. This means that upcoming weekend, in particular Sunday, is going to feature a lot of hours working from home.

I really should go to the gym today even if briefly, though I am quickly running out of time to do so. This is especially true since I won't be going until Saturday. (As it is, my weight has been holding steady at about 142.5 pounds -- or a net of 42 pounds of weight loss since June 2012 and more like 46 pounds of fat.) However, at this point, I'm not going to obsess on additional weight loss anymore. I'm sorta where I should be.


Entry from last night ...

At this point in the original entry, I had a discussion last night of how I was watching I Dream of Jeannie and what a riot was the late Paul Lynde, who showed up a few times on that show.


My entry from last night also featured this stuff, although it's not particularly relevant to anything right now. Indeed, I'm not even quite sure why I had it. Oh, yes, now I know why ...

I had posted this picture. I did so not for any particular reason except I just like it.


"Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do, / I'm half crazy all for the love of you. / It won't be a stylish marriage. / I can't afford a carriage, / But you'll sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two!"

Apparently, the song is called "Daisy Bell" and was written by Harry Dacre back in 1892, although Nat King Cole's "On a Bicycle Built For Two" was another version of it, and there may be others.

This is the Nat King Cole version with kinda wonderful illustrations.


Shouldn't there be mention of a penny-farthing? No, that's a weird bicycle for one.


Clearly related to this, the song Daisy Bell appears in "2001: A Space Odyssey" during which Dave shuts off the psychotic HAL-9000 computer. Note that HAL was supposed to have sung the song when it was activated in 1992 --exactly 100 years after Dacre wrote the song. (Yes, and we know that each letter in "HAL" is one letter off from "IBM".)

YouTube clip of that scene even as HAL sings this song, which starts around 3:30. Of note, Keir Dullea is still alive.


Oh, and the scene from 2010: Odyssey Two where Jupiter collapses on itself and then "ignites" in thermonuclear fashion to make a new sun kinda awesome, too.

Ah, the late, great Sir Arthur C. Clarke. As an aside, his book Imperial Earth really affected me with its late 23rd Century quasi-utopian socialist future.


This image from the very end of 2010: Odyssey Two (after Jupiter had become a new sun) looking down the Reflecting Pool (at the site of the old Rainbow Pool that is now the World War II Memorial) toward the Lincoln Memorial would have to be right at the Summer Solstice to have the Sun setting so far to the northwest. Also, I'm not sure Jupiter would ever be in that position vis-à-vis the Sun. Of course, if it had ignited into an actual star, then who knows.


OK, that really is all for now. I may update this blog tonight or tomorrow.